In the past years, many new drug treatments against cancer have entered the market. Most of these drugs are effective only in a subset of patients. For other patients, these drugs provide no benefit, while patients may suffer from the side-effects. In addition, these new treatments are often very expensive. This necessitates careful selection of patients who are likely to benefit from the drug.
Aim of the project
The TANGO project, a collaboration of multiple institutes (Hartwig Medical Foundation, Dutch Cancer Institute, University Utrecht, Twente University, Erasmus University, VU Medical Center, Maastricht University) and led by Dr. Retèl, aims to optimize patient selection via clever use of state-of-the-art genetic diagnostics. To achieve this goal, the project team received 1,5 million from The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw), the Dutch Cancer Society and health insurer Zilveren Kruis. Within the TANGO project, Dr. Veerle Coupé from the Decision Modeling Center will lead the disease modelling work package. The goal of this work package is to predict long-term health outcomes in advanced non-small cell lung cancer and melanoma when care would be guided by state-of-the-art genetic diagnostics instead of the current diagnostic process. For this purpose, a mathematical micro-simulation model describing tumor growth will be developed. By using micro-simulation, we are able to capture patient heterogeneity in interaction with personalized treatment patterns.